Solace as a place

Wherever I live I try to find a place where I can find solace, usually involving somewhere in nature.  When I lived in San Diego, I spent hours on the cliffs overlooking Blacks Beach.  My favorite time was dusk when the ocean turned a golden iridescent color. As the sun sank toward the horizon, the reflection shot back toward the shore, creating a blinding golden path.

Cliffs of La Jolla, Blacks Beach

When I moved to Washington, DC, I struggled to find that place, particularly due to living in an urban center with more buildings than open space.  DC is known for it’s numerous parks and which helped, but it didn’t quite make up for the ocean.  I found myself going on runs to the National Cathedral.  Partially because it was only 2 miles away.  But there was a beautiful English garden there that I’d spend sometimes hours at.  I would lie on the wooden benches in the early evening and stare up at the majestic building before me.

National Cathedral Garden

National Cathedral at twilight

I have been thinking about where that place is for me in Hawaii and what resonates most is Diamond Head.   I suppose not many people around the world can say Continue reading

Feed the good dog please.

Image

I saw this quote somewhere on facebook and its profound simpleness stood out to me. A friend once said, “There is the good dog and the bad dog: which one are you gonna feed today?”.  It’s true.

We all have a choice to nurture the “good” or more positive part of ourselves (and others) – every moment of the day – or fall into a destructive pattern.  Sadly, I learned over the holiday weekend the natural tendency can be to “feed the bad wolf”.  Is it the path of least resistance?  Possibly.

If we don’t make choices -from moment to moment- that nurture ourselves and others, we run the risk of living a careless and reckless life.  I take this seriously, but graciousness must serve as a cushion upon an unanticipated fall.

Be a better human

I have a difficult time recognizing if someone has been a jerk if it’s fairly clear it wasn’t intentional.  I’m good at making excuses for other people’s bad behavior.  But at what point is someone just a jerk?

A couple of weeks ago I had an encounter with an academic superior where I was spoken to disrespectfully and shocked by what was spewing out of his mouth.  A few years ago I would have left with tears, but what I thought as I sat there and listened to him was, “I don’t care.  I don’t want to be like you nor do what you do”.  It was wonderfully liberating to walk away laughing instead of crying, with my head held high.  Though, with a slightly deflated ego.

Finding my inner-genius

I like this quote and it really speaks to me right now.  I’ve felt less-than-genius for the past year, trying to figure out my research project and somehow finish graduate school.  There were a couple of unexpected curve balls that derailed me over the year and I’m not so sure I’ve recovered, at least not in the way I had hoped.  So the next step is figuring out how to rally and finish what I started.   Judging myself has not proved helpful.  Perhaps accepting where I am at and moving forward is all I can do in this moment.

My intention for this week is to remember to be thankful for having the opportunity to be in grad school and that I’m not working 9-5.  At times it sounds appealing but I remember the not so distant past where I wanted to poke my eyes out at 4 pm every day, staring at the clock.  Well, not exactly, but I most definitely did not enjoy spending the majority of my day in an office, chained to a computer.

When I first moved to Hawaii and started grad school I couldn’t believe how great life was and all I could think was: why didn’t I do this earlier?  Now I just want to to finish and make some money.

Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side?

Name change…again

Decided to change the name of my blog and give it a bit of a facelift. Click here to see why “living Aloha?”.

This is the fourth name and have gone through a few background theme changes.  I’ve struggled with a name that resonates with me and as there are subtle shifts (or big ones) in my life, the title starts to feel irrelevant.  I can imagine this is not the best way to “keep” followers but I am not so sure I’ve ever cared about that.  I have always liked the idea of “reinventing” myself and starting over.  Perhaps this is my way of embracing change.  And trying to find a catchy, yet meaningful, blog name.

Click here and here for previous blog names and why I chose them.  I’d consider reverting back to my original name but it feels a little righteous that I’d even consider myself a do-gooder, even if it was just for a season of my life.

Maybe I’ll stick with live aloha?.  Who knows…

I follow

two types

When getting mail or doing laundry, I often peruse through the stacks of magazines neighbors in the condo building leave behind after getting their fill of stick-thin models and foodie recipes.  I once put a huge stack of National Geographic’s in there and it sadly took days for them to disappear but the fitness and fashion magazines are gone within hours.  Welcome to Hawaii.

I flipped through an abandoned magazine and ran across an unexpected article, “The Long Goodbye” by Laura Fraiser.  It’s her story of slowing down and finding time to grieve over the unexpected death of her mother.  A quote resonate with me:

“…there are two types of people in the world–those who have lost their mom, those who haven’t…”

I have to say I agree.  It’s the club no one signs up for but sooner or later joins.